Elvis Presley, popularly called ‘The King Of Rock‘ once said, ‘ Rock and Roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.’ A revolutionary music genre, Rock and Roll finds its roots in the United States Of America. The music evolved mainly in the 1940s and the early fifties from other Afro-American music genres including blues, jazz, gospel music etc.
Rock and Roll also takes inspiration from Western beats and soothing country music combining everything to produce a unique form of music that took the world by storm and became a cult in more ways than one. The craze for this genre of music is reflected in the hundreds of books about Rock and Roll, written with passion and preserved with love.
Top Ten Books On Rock And Roll
10) Born To Run – The Unseen Photos
This is a collection of photographs by the famous photographer Eric Meola who manages to capture the young Bruce Springsteen and all his exuberance. Bruce, the musician from America who won the nickname of ‘The Boss’ was popular for his typical ‘Heartland rock‘ and stage performances full of energy. The book that has over a hundred black and white never-seen-before pictures of Springsteen is no short of a treasure for a rock music fan.
9) Chronicles Bob Dylan – Volume 1
Bob Dylan was an iconic and versatile American musician who influenced the Rock music culture drastically. The book by Dylan himself journeys through his formative years and offers candid insights into his music career. The book is the illustrious man’s story told the way he wished to tell it. The book is utterly fascinating to a rock music fan and is nothing short of a legacy.
8) The Commitments ( First Of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown Trilogy )
A truthful and funny story about young, unemployed people in Dublin who come together to form a ‘Soul Troupe‘ and discover success, ‘The Commitments’ charms its way into a million hearts. The book focuses on the band’s music goals and describes music beautifully. Perhaps, what one hears in the concert hall can be felt in the book and that makes the book a winner of sorts.
7) No One Here Gets Out Alive
This great book is the biography of Jim Morrison ( lead singer, lyricist) of the Rock band from Los Angeles, ‘The Doors’. Written by Jerry Hopkins, a journalist by profession, who interviewed Morrison extensively, the book served to revitalize the popularity quotient of the band in general and of Morrison in particular. The book has three sections that cover Morrison’s early life and years, his claim to fame and the latter part of his life till his death.
6) Death Of A Rebel – Marc Eliot, 1989
This book is the biography of Phil Ochs, a protest folk singer and song writer popular for his wit and humour. The strength of the book lies in its straightforwardness and simplicity. The book, in a way, celebrates the rebellious nature and spirit of rock music and is a well-researched attempt that traces Phil’s life and what he stood for.
5) The Blue Moon Boys – The Story Of Elvis Presley’s Band by Ken Burke and John Griffin
The scholarly kind of a book preserves a vital section of ‘rock history’ and explores the ‘band’ and its members that became the pillars of Elvis’s success. The book is based on exhaustive research and highlights some interesting facts like the band was just a three-piece one. All Rock and Roll fans would enjoy reading this wonderful rock-music rich book.
4) U2 by U2
The book records the official history of the Irish rock group U2, a band that truly rocked the world of Rock and Roll. U2 has always been identified as one of the most renowned bands of the world and the best part about this book is that the very members of the band took time to write it. The book highlights some interesting facts about the evolution of U2 and its rise to stardom. Whatever a fan may want to know, the book has it. It covers the lives, stories, emotions and feelings of the band members and touches you deep within. For those who wish to glimpse U2 from the inside, grab a copy of U2 by U2.
3) Exile On main Street – A Season In Hell With the Rolling Stones
This paperback by Robert Greenfield the book managed to create a stir in the rock world, just as the album itself. A fun read that may seem a bit pretentious at times.
2) Fargo Rock City – A 2001 book by Chuck Klosterman
Represents the author’s stark fascination with Heavy Metal. The book highlights themes of heavy metal and can be called a part-memoir of sorts. It makes for an engaging read and explores various metal bands like Winger, Poison and Kiss and their respective eccentricities. One can find a variety of pop experiences in the book and much more.
1) Heavier Than Heaven
This is the rock musician Kurt Cobain’s biography, the frontman of the band ‘Nirvana‘. Authored by Charles R Cross, the book is the result of over 400 interviews conducted. The book accesses the heart as also the mind of Cobain and is a treat for his many fans. The book uncovers many a secret and also contains quotes from the singer’s diary. What’s more, an unreleased masterpiece from the band is also revealed in the course of the book. For some gripping facts about Kurt Cobain and the rock and roll news he made, make sure to have the book on your bedside table.
According to Keith Richards, ‘Rock and Roll is the music for the neck downwards’, a fact that most books on this music genre can vouch for and agree with. Books about Rock and Roll music do not necessarily have to be either purely fictional or non-fictional to quality for the top bracket. Be it from either category, a book that can lock in the essence of rock and roll and appeal to the eternal fan is the book to look out for.